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Elizabeth Warren runs for Senator from Massachusetts

Dave Dayan has a great post on this at FireDogLake.  Check it out.

Here’s Warren’s announcement video:

I have to say that I’m a little bit surprised by the Eeyore comments I’m seeing around the web.  They go something like “she’s a sacrificial lamb” to “it’s the wrong year for her to jump into this”.  The last one doesn’t make any sense at all.  This is almost an open Senate seat.  Scott Brown took Kennedy’s seat when the Senator died of brain cancer a couple of years ago.  Elizabeth Warren can totally take this seat, provided she resists the standard homogenization procedure for Democrats seeking to run for office.

Snagging my comments from myiq’s Crawdad site, here’s why she can pull this off:

Can she make her case in terms easy enough for a Tea Partier to understand? Yep, I think so.
Can she separate herself from the current Obama administration screwups? Well, Tim Geithner hates her guts. That’s a plus.
Is she passionate enough? Heck, did you hear that interview she had on Planet Money with Adam Davidson?
Scott Brown might be a good senator but does he represent the people of Massachusetts as well as she would?
Her strength is that she is genuinely on the side of the middle class.

There’s some weird concern that she’s going to come off looking like an Ivy League elitist.

I don’t see her as an ivy league elitist despite her job. She’s pretty plain spoken, a strong advocate for the middle class and has demonstrated a clear understanding of the challenges it faces.
One other thing is that she won’t be running to represent Cambridge. She’s running to represent Massachusetts.
What potentially makes her candidacy so strong is that no one in congress is representing the failing middle class and in debate, she’s going to wipe the floor with Scott Brown on those issues. She can effectively argue against austerity.
I’m glad she’s running. Her candidacy could be a real plus next year.

Let’s hope that Elizabeth Warren can motivate voters to take control of their government again.  She should be passionate, define the issues and compare/contrast (see Hillary Clinton’s techniques for this), and she must propel voters to put aside their learned helplessness.  Start by pointing out that big corporations can purchase politicians and comandeer the airwaves but they do not have a vote.  Those votes are like Dorothy’s ruby slippers.  Voters have always had the means to take power away from the rich and well connected.  This is the point that Elizabeth Warren has to make.

Oh, and if Warren needs paid help on her campaign, I am available.  😉

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A History of Violence

Something is very wrong with Amy Bishop, and there has been something wrong with her for a very long time. But just what is her problem, and how did she manage to keep it at least somewhat under control for so long? As a psychologist, I have found this story so fascinating that I have barely been able to focus on anything else for the past few days.

Amy Bishop is a professor at the University of Alabama at Huntville who shot six of her colleagues at a Biology Department meeting on Friday, February 12. She had taken a 9-millimeter pistol with her to the meeting, loaded with 16 bullets. She did not have a permit for the weapon. She has been charged with one count of capital murder and three counts of attempted murder so far. From The New York Times:

Those killed were Gopi Podila, 52, the chairman of the biology department; Maria Ragland Davis, 50, a professor who studied plant pathogens; and Adriel Johnson, 52, a cell biologist who also taught Boy Scouts about science.

Two of the wounded were Joseph Leahy, 50, a microbiologist, and Stephanie Monticciolo, 62, a staff assistant, both of whom were in critical condition. The third was Luis Cruz-Vera, 40, a molecular biologist, who was released from the hospital on Saturday.

A neuroscientist with a PhD from Harvard University, Bishop was working on a start-up company to market a portable cell incubator that she had invented with her husband. The couple had won the $25,000 seed money in an Alabama business competition. Bishop and Anderson have four children, the oldest of whom is 18.

Bishop had been denied tenure twice by her department, and her appeal had been denied in April of 2009. At the end of the Spring semester she would have had to leave UAH. She felt she had been unfairly treated because of personality issues, and had apparently retained a lawyer to help her fight the decision. However, with her qualifications, Bishop should have been able to find another teaching job easily. On the other hand, why did she end up at UAH in the first place when she had such outstanding qualifications?

My excuse for writing about this at TC is that, according to the Boston Herald, quoting “a family source,” Bishop

was a far-left political extremist who was “obsessed” with President Obama to the point of being off-putting.

In addition, many right-wing blogs are trying to turn this tragic story into a political issue, claiming that Amy Bishop is a radical socialist, and supposedly that should explain her losing control and going on a shooting rampage.

At least one blog is suggesting the shootings were based on race, because most of the people Bishop shot were people of color. I also saw this suggestion made on Twitter several time yesterday.

…Bishop shot almost every non-white faculty member in the department. (She also shot and wounded two white victims, a professor and a staff member.) She killed both African-American professors in the department (one of whom was too junior to have had anything to do with Bishop’s tenure decision). She killed the department chair, who was ethnically South Asian. A Latino faculty member was wounded. There may only be two non-white faculty left in the department. Whether she intended it or not, Amy Bishop effected a racial purge of the Alabama Huntsville biology department.

The following is a summary of what I have learned about Amy Bishop so far. Continue reading

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley is First Candidate for Ted Kennedy’s Senate Seat

MA Atty. Gen. Martha Coakley

MA Atty. Gen. Martha Coakley

The Boston Globe reports that currrent Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has begun her campaign to fill recently deceased Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s seat in the Senate. Although she hasn’t officially announced her candidacy, Coakley stopped by the Secretary of State’s office this morning to get the required nomination papers.

Coakley’s nascent campaign picked up the documents from the secretary of state’s elections division. She now needs to gather 10,000 certified voter signatures to qualify for the Dec. 8 Democratic primary. Those signatures must be submitted to city and town election officials for certification by Oct. 20.

Coakley has been quietly been putting together her Senate campaign over the past year….She has told associates she will run for the seat even if a Kennedy family member enters the race. Joseph P. Kennedy II is said to be eyeing the race; people close to the family have said the late senator’s wife, Vicki, is not interested in the seat. Three members of Congress — Edward J. Markey, Stephen F. Lynch, and Michael Capuano — are also considering running.

Ed O’Reilly, who ran against Senator John Kerry in the 2008 primary, may also run. It sounds like a crowded field. It should be exciting. Personally, I’d like to see a woman represent Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate, and I’m convinced Coakley would do an excellent job.

The New York Times’ The Caucus blog says that the Massachusetts state legislature will consider whether Governor Deval Patrick should be permitted to appoint someone to fill the seat until the special election on Jan. 19.

I really don’t see why that is necessary. Patrick may just want to give his own pick a leg up–although with Patrick’s approval rating at only 19% in the most recent poll, his imprimatur may spell the kiss of death for the candidate of his choice.

On Martha Coakley, The Caucus reports that

Ms. Coakley, who was overwhelmingly elected attorney general in 2006, has long been considered a possible contender for an open Senate seat.

The Associated Press reported earlier this year that in both 2004 and 2008, Ms. Coakley opened a bank account that financed polling to explore her chances for a Senate seat. She told the Boston Globe in April that the account is inactive but open….

Jeffrey Berry, a political science professor at Tufts University, said the ambitions of Ms. Coakley, who has risen rapidly from prosecutor to county district attorney to attorney general, are well-known.

“She’s moved up the ladder quite quickly,” Professor Berry said. “She’s had her eye on a Senate seat and has been waiting for the call, and it finally came.”

So far no one has called Martha Coakley the “B” word, but I suppose that will inevitably happen, as it does to most powerful women. She also supported Hillary Clinton in the primary, and that may be held against her by Obama fans.

Strike a blow against the DNC: Support Ed O’Reilly in MA

Robert B asked me in the last thread what we should be doing as Democrats this fall.  There are two things to think about here.  1.) How do we let the DNC know that we mean business and 2.) How do we make sure that progressives maintain power and influence?

Here’s my answer:The parties have put us between a rock and a hard place. It is my personal opinion that John McCain is going to win. He sewed it up when he picked Palin and solidified his evangelical base. I don’t consider myself to be any authority figure but here’s my best shot at delivering guidance: Support downticket Democrats, except for the high profile idiots who sold us out. That is, find a downticket Dem who would be a new face in Congress and work your ass off for that person. Support all of the Dems in fact except for people like John Kerry. For the September 16 primary in Massachusetts, pull out all of the stops for Ed O’Reilly. Even if Ed doesn’t win, we want a showing that will give Kerry the willies. If you protect your numbers in Congress, and they will need extra help now that the evangelical base is mobilized, you will increase the number of progressives to the point where McCain/Palin will have to negotiate and can’t ram anything through.
Then, when you are confident that you’ve done everything you can to promote a solidly blue Congress, vote your conscience for the top of the ticket. If you don’t like the concept of two Republican parties in the country, make sure that one party incarnation doesn’t survive election day. (and by that I mean the party, not individuals)
Savvy?

If you haven’t had a chance, read this post by Anglachel that lays out the repercussions of a Palin VP nomination.  Whoever selected her did it with pinpoint accuracy.  Now, not only is the top of the ticket in flux, there are dozens of downticket Dems who may become collateral damage.  Man-o-man, the Dean Democrats really screwed the pooch when they staked everything on Obama.  They shouldn’t be allowed to practice politics without a license.

So, if you want to send a message to the DNC, a taste of things to come in November, send money and support to Ed O’Reilly in Massachusetts who is hoping to upset John Kerry in the primary coming up on Sept.16.  Think of him as the Ned Lamont of 2008.  Lamont’s primary run changed the narrative on the Iraq War and helped us take control of congress in 2008.  We *can* do this.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the voters of Massachusetts are ready to start yet another revolution.  Let’s give them a hand.

Update:  If you are interested in helping other Democratic candidates, here are some who need it:

Red to Blue Congressional races.

Actblue Page for Current Members of Congress who are on the frontlines.

Here is the congressional races map:

In the Senate:

Check out the map of the races here.